The Long Weekend
A triumph. (kaza knows what that’s from, do you?)
Kaza arrived safely on friday – if you haven’t seen her yet, you lag or maybe she does? hahahaha, ok ok ok ok ok. We went and saw the new nephew; Rory Michael, then saw Sweeny Todd – my review follows:
Chameleon Productions brings out only the best in the community for a production of such dark atmosphere, messages and realizations of who people are, were, could be, and maybe want to be. The cast illuminates the stage with their talent. The cast, supported by a (I think) 9-piece orchestra, and a stage crew of 5+ (?) tells the story of Sweeny Todd, the Demon barber of fleet street. Without ruining the plot by any means,the show is about a Barber who murders the men that come in for a shave, and Mrs. Lovett (shop underneath the barber shop) makes them into meat pies, and sells them to the people of London. ……Told you it was dark. Mike Howard’s Sweeney Todd reflects the anger of banishment and escape when he returns to London. Hating the place, but needing to seek revenge for he and his family that were torn apart years ago, he sets up shop – as being a barber is all he knows to be. It makes him complete. And he definately brings the show a sense of solidness with his deep resinating vocal talents. Some of us didn’t know he could sing that low, or that high. Jenny Shaheen portrays the slightly off-kilter meat pie-maker Mrs. Lovett. She is perfectly distracted and borderline eccentric. Ideas just seem to pop in her head – more so to help herself and her business and Mr. Todd then the population of London. Her voice is a joy to listen to and her diction is appreciated while singing and speaking. Dori Duke, brings wonderful confusion to the story. Being a poor old beggar woman one moment and attempting to sell herself the next. She is crazy, but she sees what others do not, senses that there IS evil and apart of her knows who Sweeny Todd REALLY is. The young girl who played Joanna is nameless to me, but her young voice is strong and she brings a great innocence to the story. Brandt Michaels is no surprise to the stage, his voice becomes stronger with each show he is apart of. He brings sentiment and some sensitivity to the story playing Antony, the young man in Love with Joanna. Jason Champeau. The Judge. You will dislike him, you will disagree with him, you will not want to clap after he sings. And not because he can’t – Jason has a marvelous voice, very strong – what he sings OF rather, is disturbing and perhaps more uncomfortable than the story of Sweeney Todd. He is without a doubt, perfectly disgusting. Short lived roll – Pireli. Played by Mark Rohner – like no Pireli I’ve ever seen. A performance that definately stands out due to the insanely funny facial expressions, the outfit, the accent(s) and stiff body almost like a robot. ps – and amAzing voice on Mr. Rohner. Toby, Tobias played by Mike, who’s last name escapes me. I wished his volume was turned up a bit and I am under the impression his voice didnt’ feel like showing up opening night. Perhaps a cold, or the tech week got to him. A bit scratchy and harsh – maybe the part was too high too. Don’t know – either way. The character he allows to unfold during the story starts out young and eager, and of course learning the secrets of Mr. Todd and Mrs. Lovett bring him to a state of shock and assumed insanity. Oddly enough, he IS the innocent one, and if the story continued, I’m sure the audience would feel terrible as to what could or would happen to him because of what he knows versus what others saw at the end. The chorus of what appeared to be at least 20 were strong, and assisted everywhere with the story. A small group of I believe 5 or 6 appeared on a balcony at one time while Sweeney Todd was writing a letter. A perfect combination of vocal talents. The chorus ranged in ages and all brought a great sense of sound to the story sucking you in immediately at the beginning, then leaving you absolutely impressed at the end. The set was large, movable, breath taking, and full of surprises. Who knew one 2 story box could be the place setting of 4 or 5 places in London. That would be Dana Shaheen and Dave Linfield. The imagination of Mr. Shaheen will never cease to amaze me, and quite frankly his name being involved in ANY production would result in my viewing of it and more than likely wanting to be a part of it. The lighting accented the scenes without being confusing or to flashy. Dark and deep looked as it should, bright and chipper with someone like Joanna – seemed perfect. The opening night difficulties were seldom but happened. The trap door where victims were sent from Mr. Todd to Mrs. Lovett didn’t work a couple times, mics and sound blipped off and on and the last song we could barely hear Mike Howard. But lets rewind a bit and congratulate Jake Maguire for not squirming when nothing happened for him and the trap door – he just disappeared at blackout. And a huge applause to Dori Duke as well. Nothing happened for her either, she lay there, and with Mr. Todd talking in front of her – if you didnt’ pay attention, she somehow just had slid into it, without sound, with minmal movement. Either you caught it or you didn’t. Beautiful improv! and working with sets. Overall – I’m utterly impressed. So much that I DO desire to see it again – and I think a raffle or something for the audience should happen where we get to go backstage and see the set and the trap door and view the world from Sweeney Todd’s eyes – just a thought, just a wish. Go see it. For Dates and Times Go Here. I promise you will not be disappointed. Congratulations cast and crew of Sweeney Todd.
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
Ahhhhh the Shakespeare Festival. Always difficult for me to see Shakespeare. I come from a place of never really understanding what goes on. However the players were sure to reveal the story to me this year. New faces to me, and no program avail, I will only be able so say so much. Matt Hansen is HYSTERICAL and wonderful. The show was placed in the 40’s. A saylor fell in love with a girl by the name of Hero (?), then he was told by, I believe…her brother?….she was not as “innocent” as she says and on the wedding day he says he will not marry her. Charles Hayek is the enemy???!!!! But he’s the brother? Why would he do that – cause he’s just evIl!!! And a nod to the Sir Charlemagne for a grand mischevious performance. His helpers? Bo Wolf. Bo, it was fun seeing this side of him. To get back at him, so to speak, the plan is to allow him to belief the news had killed her. He later finds out the news he was told, was false, but also that she did not die -and THAT part works out great. Hero’s cousin, in another part of the story, refuses to fall in love until she over hears her friends saying how much another saylor loves HER. And later the Saylor who supposedly loves her over hears a conversation that SHE loves HIM. Don’t we love it when our friends and family play matchmakers. Both parties were brilliant and fun and funny and kept me in the story. The dancing was cute and a well use of the stage. An applause to the cast and crew for telling a good story, and a fabU idea to set it at a different time. Made it that much more fun for me!
Then it was to Skarieokie. Tiresome night, but fun. Ro sang Cabaret and Kaza and I did our chair dance. I sang All That Jazz and the girls helped with the dancing sassy!!! That’s ALWAYS fun. And Michael sang one of my favorites – Red House by Jimi Hendrix. Kaza and I had a chair dance happening for that one too. Think more saucy then Cabaret (wink wink) Then it was home, a long talk, a good talk – and asleep by 4am.
The alarm went off at 8:17am and I was supposed to hit it once. After the 4th time I got out of bed and in the shower and got over to Sunset for the fundraiser event. Washing cars all day? Cool cool, well – my back didn’t think so. but “GLADIATORS READY??!!!!” Kept me, and I think some others going. It’s just something I would shout out after a car was watered down and ready for washing or drying. Pretty nice turn out, dont’ know how much money raised but I’m sure it was somwhere between 50 and 100 cars…..at least that’s what my back says to me. I stayed after and took over for Dave hosing down the parking lot and got all the dirt to the street. That took longer than I thought…..then me and Rich sat down, had some dinner – prime rib hahahahaha YUM, and a drink. Thank you 7&7 and it was home to shower. THEN off to Brighteyes house to take to the hottub offer. My back was/IS killing me so I went to Michaels house and he helped me ice it and change over to heating it and back and forth. We started watching Monty Python and I eventually fell asleep. I dont’ remember climbing into bed but I remember having to pee at like 7am and having to walk down the stairs to do it. Then climbed back up and I have no idea what Michael said when he left but I think I said “have a good show.” Obviously I was wiped out.
The rest of the week? Starbucks on Tues, Wed, Fri and Sun. Sapphire moon I wanted on Friday, Kaza wants thursday – so we’ll probably go then. Thought I had to work thurs, but I don’t. So thursday will probably be fine. I know some people discourage the thursday night as there is no pick up – but i’m sure it will be fine. Skarieokie on saturday night – and slumber party. $10 and RSVP is required, and if you don’t know “why” we’re having it you don’t get to stay!!!! I’ll give you a hint, she got here safely friday – thanks.